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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This is one way that bloggers make money, but it is at absolutely no extra cost to you if you choose to make a purchase based on my suggestions! Thank you!
If you have been following my story at all, you probably know that I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey!
My name is Elyse. I am 22, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American. All I had was a few student loans. It wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(S). For the month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic.
Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such a rewarding and achievable thing. In his book, he says it will take work and it will be hard, but it will be worth it. He has been right. There have been days were I have completely questioned my sanity. I sometimes wonder why I don’t just make minimum payments forever like everyone else.
“Sometimes, you have to like like NO ONE else, so someday you can LIVE like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey
If you haven’t read the book, I recommend you go buy it RIGHT NOW. It will be $15 that changes your life completely. I will wait, just be sure to come back!
I officially started my debt free journey on January 1st, 2017. While progress seems slow right now, my goal is to have everything paid off by my 23rd birthday on December of 2017. I am a little uneasy about the goal, but I am going to work at it until I am debt free. I am trying not to look at the numbers and just keep looking at the goal ahead because the numbers will probably stress me out too much.
My goal is to get completely debt free, buy a house in cash, and continue to save for an even better house! I am extremely excited about the opportunities to come with my journey ahead.
But Debt Free At 23 has such a great ring to it.
I paid off $957.06 in debt in April!
April was an absolutely hectic month. I have been working two jobs for the entire month of April. My No Spend Month of April went GREAT! I actually learned a ton from it, but spent most of my time working anyway. I didn’t have a lot of time for extra shopping and spending. My usual schedule during the week was Monday-Friday (8-4) for the military. Tuesdays/Thursday nights in the kitchen at Applebee’s. Friday night and Saturday ALL day serving. There were a TOOONN of 12+ hour days this month.
One of the biggest things that I forgot when setting my goals for the month is that it takes about 2 weeks to get a paycheck after you work. I serve all of the time, where my money comes home with me at the end of the night, that I kind of forgot that it takes so long to get paid from everything else. Because of the delay, I am still waiting on about $600 worth of paychecks from the military. I am also expecting to get a deposit refund, but it isn’t here yet. Those two things completely threw off my April goals.
Here is what my debt snowball looks like now:
|Original||Paid This Month||Left To Pay|
|Mary Kay Card||$275.00||—||
|Bank Credit Card||$675.88||—||
Student Loan #1
|Student Loan #2||$3,550.00||$22.36||
|Student Loan #3||$11,634.62||$163||
|Student Loan #4||$13,218.78||$187||
Giving me a grand total of $31,064.67 left to pay off.
This means that I paid off $957.06 in debt paid off in April! I came in at less than $1000, which is not even close to my goal of $3000. Not even my highest paid month yet during this journey. I was a little frustrated by this, but I also took off a Saturday to work at/go to the Husker Spring Game, which was a HUGE chunk of change out of my pocket. I think I could have done a little better.
Also, I had to re-pay off my credit card because for some reason I thought I could continue to use it during this journey. $352 went to paying that off and $57 went to paying off my Amazon Card again. I bought new boots because I knew I was going to be in uniform all month, but I don’t even know where the $352 on my bank credit card went. Credit cards have been removed from my wallet. I haven’t officially decided what I am going to do with it yet, but I don’t plan on using them anymore! Adding the credit card debt, I would have had $1,366.
I also had to purchase new tires for my jeep. The tread was practically gone! There went another $200 and the gas to drive home for my dad to put them on! I am forever grateful that I have a dad that works on my vehicle, because I would be lost without him and his skills. My dad’s skills allow me to drive a 1999 Jeep that needs a little work.
Biggest lesson learned in April
I have been working on building my blog and I think I am actually on to some really good stuff. This is going to be a long journey, but I can’t wait to see where it continues to take me. I really love blogging and it forced me to be accountable. If you have thought about starting a blog yourself, check out my tutorial on How to Start a WordPress Blog.
The other big lesson that I learned was organization makes life less stressful. Packing my bag the night before has been a HUGE help when I actually do it. On the days that it doesn’t get done, my mornings are far less organized and I scramble to remember everything I need for the entire day. I usually end up coming home on my lunch break or going without something I could have used all day. There were a few times that I forgot my laptop and had enough time to get something productive done in between jobs. I have also forgotten silverware, snacks, or supplements that I usually take throughout the day.
Goals are set lower for May. I expect to exceed them by far. I hope to have paid off $2000 by the end of the month. With the chunk of change I have coming in, I would say there is a pretty good chance of that happening.
Goals For May
Come in under $30,000 in debt left to pay off.
Student loan number one will be completely gone by the end of the month.
Make $1 from blogging in some way, shape, or form.
Run as hard as I can for my Physical Fitness Test.